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Thread: Parasound amplifiers?

  1. #1
    RIP 2010 scott fitlin's Avatar
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    Parasound amplifiers?

    Hello everyone, I need some general information, and user experiences IF anyone has on Parasound amps.

    Basically, what I am doing is seeking new amps to run all my horns and tweeters, I am also upgrading my sub bass and midbass amps, and I will remain Crown powered for all my woofer needs. Crown amps still rock on low end, but what they offer today, is not exactly what I need on my horns and tweeters. I have been looking at Parasound's amps, they have two lines, HALO, and NEW CLASSIC, the HALO series being my first choice.

    These amps are Class A/AB operation, and Class AB, they are available in the power ranges I need/want, and offer rack mount ears, a necessity for me, and basically have all the right things I want in a design. JFET input, MOSFET drivers, and high current bi polar outputs. They are manufactured using quality parts, they feature massive power supplies, with hefty toroidal power transformers and LARGE amounts of filter storage capacitance. Looking inside the amps from photos they provide reveals nicely constructed amps, and according to the manufacturers claims, these amps have the right things.

    I don't know how they sound, as I don't know any who use them, but, since I am doing a very comprehensive set of upgrades to my system, with some REALLY phenomenal components and drivers, I have also been looking at changing amps, it is time to retire certain 30 year old units, in favor of NEW and HIGH QUALITY units.

    If anyone has any experience with Parasound, I would like to hear what you have to say! Basically, it is the MOSFETS I am after for tweeter and compression driver/horn powering! And anyone that already uses a MOSFET amp on their system, especially horns and tweeters, understands why!

    If you just want to look at Parasounds offerings, www.parasound.com.

    scottyj

  2. #2
    Senior Member louped garouv's Avatar
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    i heard a parasound on some local builders hedlund horns a few months ago...

    the system, overall, was quite impressive for a measly little 6 or 8" driver
    (ableit with an absolutely huge cabinet)

    certainly not like nightclub or anything, but impressive none the less...
    wish i could give more of my thoughts, but it was a bit ago, and I only
    had the chance to listen on a system i had never heard before, in an unfamiliar room....

    as a side note,
    Isn't John Curl involved with Parasound?
    I've read some very nice things about his designs & implementations thereof...
    going back to the 70s i think...


  3. #3
    RIP 2010 scott fitlin's Avatar
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    Yes, Parasound are John Curl designed amplifiers, and this is one major point that attracts my attention.
    scottyj

  4. #4
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scott fitlin View Post
    Yes, Parasound are John Curl designed amplifiers, and this is one major point that attracts my attention.
    I think he has only worked on a few of their Halo designs.

    I have owned a number of pieces of gear that he has designed... they have all been excellent.


    Widget

  5. #5
    RIP 2010 scott fitlin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Widget View Post
    I think he has only worked on a few of their Halo designs.

    I have owned a number of pieces of gear that he has designed... they have all been excellent.


    Widget
    Yes, the Parasound HALO JC-1 is a monoblock John Curl design, and at 800w@4ohms, six of these would be an awesome choice for those new TAD 15,s I am using.

    Then, the HALO series AC-21 and AC-23, for midrange and tweeters are HIGH BIAS Class AB designs with JFET inputs, MOSFET driver stage, and BI Polar high current outputs, and they have the power I want, and probably a really good sound, with high fidelity. Circuitry is designed in both models by John Curl.

    I am getting the Treuextent diaphragms for my compression drivers, plus the TAD tweeters going in so I want to power these with amps that are really worthy.
    scottyj

  6. #6
    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    I believe they were Parasounds in use at one of our Mid-Atlantic JBL Listening Parties at OpiMax's home. He had three driving the 250ti projects and his JBL subs. Don't know what models but they sounded fine in his system and home, certainly compared to my baby Crowns and the L7s.

    Edit: Opi uses Perreaux amps but Wilfredo had at least one Parasound in his collection.
    ". . . as you have no doubt noticed, no one told the 4345 that it can't work correctly so it does anyway."—Greg Timbers

  7. #7
    RIP 2010 scott fitlin's Avatar
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    I am going to start off with two HALO AC-23 amps for the tweeters. This amps design seems really nice and should be phenomenal for what I am going to use it for. The circuitry was in fact designed by John Curl, and the MOSFET driver stage should be oh so sweet on my JBL 2402 bullets, and my six new TAD ET-703,s!

    A HALO AC-21, circuitry also designed John Curl, will be what I use on my JBL 2395/2441 with Truextent diaphragms.
    scottyj

  8. #8
    RIP 2010 scott fitlin's Avatar
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    Wow, sometimes you get lucky. Parasound has an authorized dealer in Lynbrook, about ten minutes from where I live. I called American Audiophile Trading, in Lynbrook, spoke with Michael Gruber, got a great price on what I want, and am ordering two HALO A23 and one A21, the A23 is $950ea, and the A21 is $2100, not bad, and besides sounding great, they are supposed to be very rugged and totally reliable. VERY ATTRACTIVE PRICING!

    In thoroughly reading the amps literature and manuals online, some other things caught my attention. I know JFET inputs and a MOSFET driver stage sound good, and the output stage is also robust, but these amps are designed to have the driver stage operate in Class A for the first few watts, before it swings into Class AB! This is the way my old Crown Power Line series worked, and that was my favorite sound on my tweeters. After having a nice conversation with Michael about these amps, I felt totally comfortable and ordered them. I really anticipate these to sound fantastic. And the pricing was a nice surprise, and depending on what he could do for me on the JC 1, I might even audition them to run my 15,s. If I buy six JC 1 amps, I could probably work a sweet deal, and I would have great new amps, and the same formula that is working for me successfully right now, 15,s on up Class AB, and Class D high power for subwoofer duty.

    And when I go to pay for what I ordered Monday morning, he has a small two channel system, and a decent HT system with HALO amps set up so I can listen to them, too. He didn't try to use soapy sales talk, he just told me once I hear the sound, I will know what I hear! The one thing he did ask me is what I use now, and I told him I use Crown, and he didn't knock them as many do, he just said they are really well built and have solid reliability like Crowns but alot more refined sounding. That was cool and is easy to believe.

    scottyj

  9. #9
    Senior Member svollmer's Avatar
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    Edit: Opi uses Perreaux amps but Wilfredo had at least one Parasound in his collection.[/QUOTE]

    I've been to Wilfredo's house. He has one of EVERYTHING in his collection!!!

  10. #10
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    Wow that looks nice as cosmetic design but where’s the barograph display?
    http://www.parasound.com/halo/jc1.php

    I like to see what is going out of the amp to the loudspeaker components at all times.

    [I]Damping factor:
    > 1200 at 20 Hz

    Is that a good or bad it looks good a damn site higher than what I'm running with. for a mono amp it sounds a bit costly. That would cost a few Darth Vader robbing rounds at banks to scrape up the money.

    I think most of all the professional Crown amps that get the THX rubber stamp are approved for large venues. How would this fair in large cinema? I’d stick with the Crown amps they have some nifty features on them, that I doubt come with the Parasound range.

    But if you’re already committed to the project I guess it’s too late for a turn around. Just hope its what you’re after and looking for in its performance.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member timc's Avatar
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    In comparison with crown.

    One thing you should know.

    For big woofer duty, the Crowns are in a different league alltogether. I have compared both XTi And I-Tech (not HD) to both A21 and JC1. The most impresssive, when looking at the price is the XTi.

    For midrange and HF, it is the other way around.
    2213 + 2435HPL w/aquaplas + H9800 (Matsj edition)

  12. #12
    RIP 2010 scott fitlin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timc View Post
    One thing you should know.

    For big woofer duty, the Crowns are in a different league alltogether. I have compared both XTi And I-Tech (not HD) to both A21 and JC1. The most impresssive, when looking at the price is the XTi.

    For midrange and HF, it is the other way around.
    My original thoughts were/are to use the HALO AC 21 and AC 23 amps on mids and highs, and Crown Macro Tech i Series on the woofers. Macro tech i, is basically the i Tech without the dsp front end I am already heavily leaning toward this configuration, again. and, I already have been using an i Tech on my J Horns, and I had no problem with it, in any way, and I really had good success, sonically with it as a subwoofer amplifier. Yes we agree, the HALO amps are REALLY well suited to mids and highs. Crown bass still KICKS ASS in my opinion, too. So, no big deal just do what I originally intended to.
    scottyj

  13. #13
    Senior Member timc's Avatar
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    I think you are on the express train to nice sound
    2213 + 2435HPL w/aquaplas + H9800 (Matsj edition)

  14. #14
    RIP 2010 scott fitlin's Avatar
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    TODAY three amps arrived via FEDEX! and I diligently went to work, unpacking the two AC-23 amps, putting their rack mount ears on, taking a few moments to look at my new porn, before installing them in my rack. Then, we pulled the rack out, took the D-150A amps out, and installed the two AC-23. First off, THEY look sharp in my rack, sharp. and when you turm em on, the red PARASOUND insignia, and the blue power switch HALO, plus the blue channel indicators, BEAUTIFUL.

    Out of the box, upon turn on, we looked at the amp lit up, and like I said, PORN!

    I immediately noticed the HALO amps are quieter than my previous Crowns, even my Brystons, too! Much less hiss that I can now hear from my 16 JBL 2402 and 6 TAD ET-703. I let these amps idle for a half hour before playing any music. Then, we began playing some tunes. At first, it was good, and I felt that these amps have a slightly different curve in their freqeuncy respsonse, and will require readjustment of my EQ,s, WHEN I put the EQ,s back in the system. And I/we played music for around 2 hours. Tracks we all know and like. On the highs, which is what I use the AC-23,s for, I immediately notice less upper midrange lower treble glare. No hardness or overly bright sibilance or etchiness. Each lick and strike of a cymbal clearly defined, sharp attack, crisp fundamentals, and good sense of decay, and space, as well as good ambience retrieval. and the ability to hear further into my recordings than what I was getting with the Crown D-150A! I definitely hear more minute little things in the background, quite similar to the way I hear things when I had Bryston amps in my system, but without glare. matter of fact, WITH NO EQ in my system, I couldn't get the tweeters to shriek at all, no matter what I threw at the system, the tweeters remained calm, and accurate sounding. Previously, regardless of what amps I was using, I always needed EQ to tame the response. Today, the tweeters sounded great, with everything I played, NO EQ! The TAD tweeters, which I just recently installed, these things tell you about anything else in your system, they are great, but everything else in your signal chain also has to be, for these to sound really good, too! They just let you hear EVERYTHING! GOOD OR BAD. Forget me, I had three young men working with me today, and I let them tell me what they hear, without me coaching them. I, in the past months, have already taught them what to listen for, as best I can! We were talking as the music was playing, and they were saying the same things that I was thinking. We all felt and said the highs sounded smooth, and lacked that screaminess we have heard in the past on certain recordings, especially recordings with hot female vocals. And these amps are powerful and I couldn't get them to sound strained, at all. I didn't have to push the system to get the response, and yet when I did, the amps just put out more, without clipping artifacts, or other audible distortions. The amps run warm, they say! To the touch of my fingertips, that is all they did get, was warm. Never got HOT! after an hour or so, I did notice the sound changed slightly. It got a little softer, a bit more refined, seemed to have better definition. OK, the amps need some break in, Parasound says they do, and my ears heard some after an hour. So, it was a positive change, and to me, it will only get better as time goes. But, nothing new here, they need break in time.

    Everything in the system seems improved. Highs are sweet, and have lightning fast transients. I hear everything, the notes have the attack, the fundamentals are crisp, accurate, smooth, clear, and true. I hear the reverb around instruments, the recordings background ambiences, hidden notes and sounds. No glare or etch. Below, the horns definition seems improved, each note clear and defined, and no squawking, either. The bass firmed up, and even though these amps are infact, alot of power for my tweeters, the HALO delivers sweet and clear sound through them, without other artifacts I hear when using other amps. Up until today, I knew my TAD tweeters were good. But I also knew they are amp sensitive, and revealing of everything upstream, in my system. The HALO amp powering six TAD 703 tweeters sound considerably more pleasing, and the tweeters, both JBL and TAD, seem to sound quicker on the HALO amps. Even compared to my Bryston 3B SST, I like the HALO AC-23, better.

    All in all, first time out, and straight out of the box, my first two HALO amps impressed. They look phenomenal in the rack, and tomorrow, I install the AC-21 on six 2395/2441J, re-install my EQ,s, go through the same procedures as today, and see what happens. I also felt an amp that is substantial when I unpacked them, and took them out of the box. The HALO amps look good, and there is some weight to them. Not ungodly heavy, but substantial. On the bottom of each amp, is a hefty bolt, with a spring and a heavy washer between the bolt head, and the amps chassis, that secures the toroidal transformer in place. During unpacking, and flipping the amp over, to take the feet off and put the rack ears on, I also notice NOTHING rattles, nothing is loose or flimsy feeling. The amp has rear handles, and the rear panel pots, and connectors are sturdy, and just everything about the HALO amps feels sturdy, and well made.

    HALO by PARASOUND! 1st day and it was a great day!
    scottyj

  15. #15
    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scott fitlin View Post
    First off, THEY look sharp in my rack . . . They look phenomenal in the rack . . .
    Somebody had to throw the card:



    ". . . as you have no doubt noticed, no one told the 4345 that it can't work correctly so it does anyway."—Greg Timbers

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